New Delhi: The air pollution in Delhi has been worsening, with the air quality dropping from ‘poor’ to ‘very poor’ category in the last one week. On Monday (October 23), the Air Quality Index (AQI) was recorded at 306 against 302 on Sunday afternoon, as per System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR). Officials from the India Meteorological Department stated that the air quality in Delhi-NCR will remain ‘very poor’ for the next few days due to a drop in temperature and the influx of emissions from stubble burning.
Citizens’ Reactions On Depleting Air Quality
A cyclist at Indian Gate, Sanjay Chaudhary, while talking to news agency ANI, said,
The situation is not good at all. I think pollution levels have been rising in Delhi for the past 10-12 days. We can feel it in our eyes today. The smog is dense. I think the situation is not good at all. We, the cyclists, carry masks and bandanas with us, but I don’t think there is any alternative, and if you have to be on the road, you have to face it.
Another cyclist at Indian Gate, Rahul Kundra, said,
Right now, we can feel the pollution a little as we cycle every day. It will increase a little that will become visible too. At that time, we stop cycling and go for an alternative.
Delhi Government On Action
Amid the rise in the air pollution, the Delhi government has implemented the second phase of Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), to reduce the effect of increased pollution in the national capital. GRAP is a set of emergency measures that kick in to prevent further deterioration of air quality once it reaches a certain threshold in the Delhi-NCR region.
The government held a meeting earlier in the afternoon, with officials from 28 departments in connection to the execution of the GRAP phase 2. Speaking to the media, Environment Minister Gopal Rai said,
The cold has started increasing in Delhi and the speed of the wind has decreased, and this has resulted in an increase in the air pollution.
The government has identified eight more pollution hotspots in Delhi apart from 13 identified earlier, including Shadipur, Mandir Marg, Patparganj, Sonia Vihar, Moti Bagh, ITO, Nehru Nagar, and Dhyaan Chand Stadium, among others.
Here are the list of directions issued by Environment Minister Gopal Rai:
- A special team will be deployed in the hotspots to identify the cause of pollution and increase the mitigation measures.
- Dust suppressants will be added to water that is being sprinkled on trees and roads of the national capital.
- Delhi’s anti-dust campaign will be strengthened from October 25 onwards.
- Diesel generator sets being used in violation of rules will attract action.
- Identifying 91 congestion points, the traffic officials were directed to streamline vehicular movement in these points.
- The government has decided to increase the frequency of metro and buses in Delhi, to promote the use of public transport and reduce the use of private vehicles.
- The resident welfare associations (RWAs) will be asked to provide heaters to security guards in colonies to ensure they don’t light a fire to warm themselves while on night duty.
— Aam Aadmi Party Delhi (@AAPDelhi) October 23, 2023
Environment Minister Rai said that the next 20-25 days are crucial and citizens must take measures to protect themselves. Urging the citizens to support the government measures, Environment Minister Rai said,
Without a coordinated effort, it is challenging to resolves the problem of air pollution.
He also advised people to register themselves for Pollution Under Control Certificate (PUCC) for the pollution control test.
Also Read: Air Quality Index Worsens In Haryana’s Jind
(With inputs from ANI)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.